"WESTERHAM, a parish and ancient market town in the hundred of the same name, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, county Kent, 6 miles W. of Sevenoaks, 21 W. of Maidstone, and 21 S.E. of London. The town is situated on a declivity near the source of the river Derwent, and near the western border of the county. It has a townhall, literary institute, and reading-room. The population of the parish in 1861 was 2,196, and of the town, 1,651. The parish, which includes the chapelry of Crockham Hill or Cockham, stretches from the summit of the chalk ridge, which separates it from Cudham on the N., to the sand hills of the Weald in the S. Hops are extensively cultivated. Two landslips took place here in the green sandstone rock-the first in 1596, at Oakham Hill, when 9 acres of land, with trees and fences, continued in motion for eleven days; and the latter in 1756, at Toy's Hill, when 2½ acres were moved, some parts sinking into pits, and others rising into hills. The manor was given by Edward I. to the Abbot of Westminster, who obtained from Edward III. the grant of a market, and subsequently came to the Greshams and Wardes of Squerryes. The present proprietor of this seat, which is of the 16th century, and contains a collection of paintings and family portraits, is Vice-Admiral Charles Warde, K.H. Fronting the S.W. entrance is a lake, and in the park is a pillar to General Wolfe, the hero of Quebec, who was born at the vicarage in this parish in 1727. Fryth, the martyr, burnt in 1533, and Dr. Benjamin Hoadly, Bishop of Winchester, born in 1676, were also natives. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury, value £450. The church, dedicated to St. Mary, has recently been restored, and contains four brasses, the earliest bearing date 1531, and a cenotaph to General Wolfe. The parochial register dates from 1559. There is also the district church of the Holy Trinity at Crockham Hill, the living of which is a perpetual curacy, value £120. The Independents have a chapel, and there are National schools in connection with both churches. The parochial charities produce about £32 per annum. Wednesday, is market-day, and fairs are held on 3rd May."
[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2010]